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Design Is ...

design

The word design is everything and nothing. We think of design as not just the product's appearance: it's what the product is and how it works. The design and the product are inseparable.

Sir Jonathan Ive

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it's this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, 'Make it look good!' That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Steve Jobs

Apple's design philosophy is nothing if not direct and concise, which I'm guessing is one of the (many) reasons their level of focus and execution is so incredibly high. As we begin building out the design practice at SimpleReach I've been thinking a lot about design leadership, ways to foster understanding and purpose across divisions, and approaches to creating a strong design culture. Nothing worth sharing right now, but tidbits from my research will likely wind up here.

Happeh Canada Day

design and icon

Happeh Canada Day, eh.

Bower + Sass = Bones

design and interface

Bones - a set of Sass mixins and functions to kick off any project.

The front-end tooling landscape has exploded recently and I'm totally excited about everything that's happening. If you haven't had a chance to check it out a good place to start is Addi Osmani's deck from his 2013 FOWA keynote, "Automating Frond-end Workflow".

I've been using task runners and package managers for a while, but hadn't thought about using something like Bower to create reusable Sass modules until I came across Stefan Baumgartner's article, "Create manageable Sass Components". It's a nice alternative to Git's submodules (which have bit me in the ass on more than one occasion), with the added benefit of managing versions and dependencies.

When it comes to Sass there's a base set of functions and mixins I rely on heavily — if I don't have them handy it's almost like I can't think. While I enjoy frameworks such as Bourbon and Susy and learn a lot from their approach to architecting Sass, I find them too monolithic for my needs.

So I took the ideas in Stefan's article and published my first Bower package, Bones. It's a very lightweight set of functions, mixins, and placeholder extends that I rely on for every project, whether it's a web app, marketing site, or pet project. I've already switched this site over to Bones and it's made my life oh-so-much-easier. I'll continue to update it as needed, but if you are doing any amount of heavy lifting with Sass, consider using Bower to create reusable Sass components. You won't look back.

The Great Crab Massacre

cycling, maryland, and travel

before crab

Before

before crab

After

On Stage

design, interface, and visualization

Yesterday Eddie announced our partnership with Digitas LBI at the Newfronts conference. It was pretty fun to see the SimpleReach dashboard up on an GINORMOUS screen.

Eddie Kim presenting SimpleReach at Newfronts

Spinning numbers!

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